South Cotabato’s 14th T’nalak Festival next month will feature for the first time a national canine athletics competition.
Tito Santos of the SocSargen (South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos) Canine Sports Club announced in a recent press conference that the Philippine Dogs Athletic Association (PDAA) will hold its 21st Dog Agility Championships as major event of the T’nalak Festival and the province’s 47th foundation anniversary.
The dog show and competition will be held at South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center on July 13 to 14.
At least 60 dogs are expected to participate in the agility competitions. At least 60 dogs are expected to participate in the agility competitions.
Dogs from Davao, Cebu, Bacolod, Zamboanga, Davao and other places will be competing in the agility tests. The tournament, he said, will be of three levels: standard for beginners, gamblers, and advanced.
Part of the advanced agility test is a competition where the owner directs his or her pet to tackle obstacles from a distance of ten feet or more, he explained.
“For the first time, a canine competition in Mindanao would feature a freestyle competition,” Santos said, “which would involve dog owners and their respective pet dogs doing choreographed tricks.”
He confirmed that dog trainer Chardy Ang, defending champion of the Talentadong Pinoy talent show over TV5, will be among the contestants in freestyle competition.
Besides the agility tests, other dogs will also be competing in comformation and fashion contests.
“Conformation is like beauty contest for dogs where judging is based on the form and physical standards of the breed,” he said. Fashion competition, on the other hand, would feature dogs in costumes and bling-bling.
Over 50 dogs are expected to participate in the conformation and fashion contests.
Santos also explained, the PDAA started about seven years ago in South Cotabato, particularly with the SocSarGen Canine Sport Club as the main proponent.
“Our advocacy is to promote responsible dog ownership through training,” he explained.
As an organization of dog owners with base in nearby Polomolok town, he added, they “teach people how to take care of their dogs properly as well as teach them to train dogs.”
He pointed out that training of dogs for athletics is not exclusive to full bred dogs.
“Even Aspins (Asong Pinoy) can be trained. One of the best competitors in our recent championships in Cebu was an Aspin,” he said.
The T’nalak Dog Show and Competitions, he said, the event will be held inside the provincial gymnasium because this is designed as a family affair.
The dog show is being chaired by provincial veterinarian Dr. Lorna Lamorena and co-chaired by Santos. (Danilo E. Doguiles-PIA 12)